Episode 7: This Is Your Brain on Politics

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On the way to Election Day, our brains do not remain immune to the twists and turns of the campaign trail

Stress is a part of everyday life. But in this election filled with bombast, disregard of all sorts of political norms, and multiple October Surprises, the road to November 8th often appears overwhelming.

Join WNYC Studios and The Nation as we explore the burgeoning field of biopolitics and uncover how our bodies respond to 2016’s political circus.

WNYC’s Amanda Aronczyk sits down with neuroscientist Jeffrey French and political scientist Kevin Smith, as we perform an unusual test to find out just what in this election is causing voters’ stress. Plus, learn how our bodies’ natural response systems can indicate where we locate ourselves along the political spectrum.

Afterwards, Kai Wright and Arun Venugopal sit down with political scientist Jonathan Weiler, co-author of the book "Authoritarianism & Polarization in American Politics," to talk about voter psychology, and why certain personality types are allured by authoritarian leaders.

Listen to The United States of Anxiety on WNYC, airing Thursday evenings at 7pm, and stay tuned for a live call-in

Episode Contributors:

Kai Wright

Arun Venugopal

Amanda Aronczyk

Karen Frillmann

Joseph Capriglione

Music Playlist

  1. United States of Anxiety Theme

    Artist: Nathan Halpern
  2. Balti

    Artist: Blue Dot Sessions
    Album: K2
  3. Manele

    Artist: Blue Dot Sessions
  4. Base Camp

    Artist: Blue Dot Sessions
    Album: K2